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China's security wisdom: a historical review


  • Dongmei Han


With "Family and Nation" (宗庙社稷) as the top priority, China has had strategic considerations to deal with domestic and foreign affairs, which gradually formed a series of relatively stable national security strategic thought throughout Chinese history. Based on literature surveys, the author systematically reviews the Chinese traditional security strategy from the Qin to the Qing Dynasty. The author then analyses the core security strategy wisdom of China which contains the following sayings: "Balance civil or Wen and military or Wu" (æ–‡æ­¦å¹¶é‡ ); "Rich and powerful country contains a strong military power and thus indicates opportunities to win the war in the future" (国富者兵强,兵强者战胜); "Political and military means support each other"(文功武备), "Though your country may be strong, asking for wars is suicide. Though it may seem peaceful, it is a deadly mistake to forget about war" (å›½è™½å¤§ï¼Œå¥½æˆ˜å¿…äº¡ã€‚å¤©ä¸‹è™½å®‰ï¼Œå¿˜æˆ˜å¿…å ±); "Attracting neighboring countries with strong power and peace within China in order to achieve regional peace"(æ²»å®‰ä¸­å›½ï¼Œè€Œå››å¤·è‡ªæœ ). In the third part, the author analyses the Chinese traditional security strategy wisdom's significance by providing the essence of strategic thinking, positive and negative wisdom and lessons for developing national security, and epistemological tools. In the final part of the paper, the author comes to the conclusion that Chinese traditional security strategy encourage the integrated use of military, political, economic and other national strategic resources, by the way of "balance civil or Wen and military or Wu" (æ–‡æ­¦å¹¶é‡ ) to achieve the strategic objective of establishing and maintaining the feudal pattern of unity, strengthening the monarchy at the core of the centralized, and promoting national integration and unity.

Suggested Citation

  • Dongmei Han, 2012. "China's security wisdom: a historical review," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 2(3), pages 1250015-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:gok:ijdcv1:v:3:y:2012:i:2:p:1250015

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